After spending nearly 15 years as a registered nurse providing those in need with relief and rehabilitation, Putnam Valley resident Nicole Taylor was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic to help people find solace in other ways.
As Taylor continued her six-year stretch working with disadvantaged youth at Lincoln Hall in Somers last year, she began to experience anxiety and was looking for outlets to relieve it during high-stress moments. Growing up in an environment where holistic medicine was an acceptable alternative, Taylor found comfort falling back on her roots to ease her mental health.
But in the process of managing her mind and soul, she realized how much she wanted to help others who could be experiencing similar bouts.
“I’ve always been interested in holistic healing, and with my aunt a Reiki master, I always grew up around crystals and Reiki and I was always intrigued by it but never knew how I could apply that,” Taylor said. “This past year when COVID hit, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to take Reiki courses.”
In late August, Taylor took online courses and became a Certified Reiki Practitioner.
Taylor said Reiki, a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch to activate the natural healing processes of the body and restore physical and emotional well-being, provided her with a new outlook on life and a sense of peace she had been missing.
“The anxieties disappeared, and it’s given me a whole new way to cope with it,” said Taylor, who explained how she can practice Reiki on herself as well as others. “I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year as far as how to relax and that maybe things aren’t so heavy as long as you know how to cope with them.”
With the ability she received and was able to perform on friends and family in need of relief, Taylor also started using healing crystals to create an array of suncatchers as a form of meditation. But what started as her selling a few of her homemade items on Facebook Marketplace and Instagram for fun quickly took off.
“I felt I needed to open up a platform so people can make orders,” Taylor said. “It’s become a beautiful thing for me and a beautiful way to cope with the world. It’s meditative for me to craft these items for people who can appreciate them. It’s very flattering.”
While all of Taylor’s pieces are handmade with the purpose of bringing a sense of peace and tranquility to those who purchase them, she also infuses each piece with Reiki healing power. Additionally, she cleanses and blesses them with sage or Palo Santo to remove all negative energy before shipping them.
“Hopefully, the rightful owner can feel that energy when they receive the piece,” Taylor said. “Everybody just needs a little hope these days with everything going on in the world, and if you can believe in that and it is a healing piece, it can help.”
Taylor added that her pieces offer a little protection and reminder that everything is going to be OK.
The Charmer Boutique Etsy page, which has generated about 560 sales since October, offers about two dozen designs, including crystals, crystal air plant holders and simple suncatchers. Prices range from $12 to $70.
Taylor added she’s always coming up with new designs and pieces to provide those in need.
“With this year making people more aware of their mental health, putting this out there and hopefully making mental health and Reiki less of a stigma will do some good, this is just another alternative,” Taylor said. “People are always looking for ways we can heal, and we need all the help we can get at this point.”